Electric Car Owners More Concerned About Noise Danger Than Fires

Posted on June 12, 2012

Now that all-electric vehicles have been on the market for nearly two years, people have gotten a chance to see and experience these cars in action.  A new report details how the owners feel about their environmentally friendly vehicles.

Scientific American queried owners about their experiences with such vehicles as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, and their responses paint a vivid picture about the challenges such vehicles face and the improvements to safety that still have to be made.  The questions were asked as part of LA’s EVS26 electric vehicle symposium held last month.

With numerous reports hitting news outlets about potential fires occurring when the battery is struck in a crash situation, you would think that this fire hazard would be a concern shared by many owners, but that’s not the case.  Individuals polled stated that they feel safer with a battery than if they were to be in a crash while atop a tank of gasoline.

In fact, the biggest safety concern has to do with the relative silence of the vehicles, which pedestrians are unaccustomed to.  Although the Leaf automatically issues a noise to alert pedestrians to its presence, the Volt’s noise emitter has to be turned on by the user.  Other electric cars face similar silence problems.  One individual responded that parking lots have become potentially dangerous, and stated that a bicyclist once turned right into his vehicle.

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